When life gives you lemons… Enjoy lemon themed learning activities with your toddlers! I created this Lemon Themed Toddler Activities Unit to make learning with your toddler easy peasy, lemon squeezy, and tons of fun for you and your little ones!
This unit is made up of 5 lessons that incorporate the following activities:
If you want to learn more about how to get started planning activities for your little ones, download my FREE guide for everything you need to know about the skill areas we incorporate into toddler school:
Finding ways to incorporate strong vocabulary development is so important for our youngest learners. As you teach your child about lemons, be sure to use strong vocabulary and give your child time to repeat and digest the new language you are using. In this unit, you will have the opportunity to teach vocabulary through picture cards, tangible items, and hands-on materials. As parents, we know we are teaching our children, but all they know is that they are having fun!
As you begin to teach your little one about lemons, you will have the opportunity to dissect a lemon! This science activity is perfect for vocabulary development! You’ll cut a lemon in half to show the parts of a real lemon to your child. As you poke and peel away the layers, discuss the parts of the lemon using rich language (lemon, pulp, pith, peel, and seed).
All of these vocabulary word cards are included in the unit, and you can refer to them throughout your lemon dissection. My son had fun pointing to each part of the real lemon and comparing it to the real photos on the vocabulary cards.
Get ready for all the art projects your little hearts desire! This unit includes so many fun art activities that I know your toddlers will love. You will dive right in by coloring the L is for Lemons coloring page. Not only is this fun and engaging, but you also add in some fine motor practice for your little one by focusing on proper crayon grip.
What could be more fun than tearing, cutting, and gluing for your little learners?!?! They are sure to love creating Tear, Cut and Glue Lemon Art! It’s so fun to watch the kids tear and cut yellow paper to fill in the lemons, and they’ll turn out adorable, no matter what!
I love to bring tangible, “real life” objects into our activities whenever I can. It’s great for our little ones to touch and feel different textures, as well as an opportunity to learn new vocabulary. In this art activity, we created lemon art by cutting real lemons in half and using them as “stamps.” Our art turned out so amazing, that we framed our masterpieces and they’re hanging in our hallway right now!
Practicing fine motor skills is essential for developing finger control and building up strength in those little fingers. In this activity, we used clothespins because they are a great tool to help build strong muscles in the fingers and hands. To begin, have your little one say the name of the letter that is inside the lemon. Then, have them clip the clothespin onto the matching letter on the bottom of the card. Your little one will be so proud that they clipped the letters independently! If your child is having trouble identifying the correct matching letter, feel free to help them out and point out the correct letter.
This is another fine motor activity that was a HUGE hit in our house. My son asked to do it over and over again and he never got sick of it! Anything the kids ask to do over and over again AND helps develop those fine motor skills is a win-win for everyone! For this activity, you’ll begin by poking holes in a lemon using a golf tee. Then, give your child about 20 golf tees to poke into the lemon in the pre-made holes. You’ll want to model for your child how to hold the lemon in one hand and the golf tee in the other hand. Juice will spill out of the lemon, so make sure to put some towels down to catch the spills. It’s a great opportunity to discuss how juicy a lemon is and incorporate that vocabulary!
Sensory bins are always a favorite and they are a great teaching tool since they are a fun way to incorporate academic content and fine motor skills! To kick off this lemon unit, we used lemon rice (recipe is included in the unit!) along with different size cups. To introduce our letter, we included an uppercase L in one cup and a lowercase l in another cup. I showed each letter to my kids and had them repeat the letter. Then, we dove right in to find the rest of the “hidden” letter cards in the bin. It was fun to sort the letters, but my son had even more fun exploring, pouring, and playing with the rice! He wanted to come back to this activity again and again!
As an added bonus… You can use this sensory bin over and over throughout the week and make it “new” again by switching out the activities and cards! As the week went on, we swapped the letter cards for lemon number cards to practice number identification and counting. It was like a brand new bin!
This was also an easy to prep (yay!) sensory activity that kept my toddler busy for quite a while! (#MomWin!) To prepare this activity, you’ll just fill bins or mixing bowls with water. Add lemons, a washcloth, and a ladle to the bin. You can even add a (clean) toothbrush to get those lemons extra sparkly and clean! Show your child how to wash the lemons in one bin and rinse in another. Then you can set up a drying rack using a towel at the end of the water station. Just to warn you, this activity is best done outside since the water will likely spill out of the bins. My son was soaking wet and super excited and proud of all the cleaning he accomplished at the end of this activity!
On the last day of lemon week, we set up a new sensory tub for making lemonade! This was a HUGE hit! We filled a large tub with the following:
It was so fun to help my son squeeze the lemon juice into the cup, strain for seeds, and add a little sugar and water. Of course the best part was watching his little face when he taste-tested his lemonade. That sour puckered up face is priceless!
It’s so beneficial to expose little ones to counting skills through 1:1 correspondence activities. Plus, it is so easy to prep this lemon tree counting activity! All you do is print, cut, and give your child the cards and some counters to use. Yellow pom pom balls make the perfect “lemons.” As you begin the activity, your little ones will place the correct number of counters on each lemon tree to match the number. I always like to encourage my little ones to count out loud as they place the manipulatives on the tree to help with that 1:1 correspondence. If your child is ready, you can even have him or her place the lemon trees in order from least to greatest!
Finally, to wrap up this lemon unit, how about a lemon explosion!? To do this science activity, cut the lemon in half. Add a drop of food coloring in different colors to the segments of the lemon. Place baking soda on the lemon and get ready to watch your little one’s face light up as the acid in the lemon causes the baking soda to bubble and “explode!”
Let’s get moving! Lemons are so fun to use for gross motor activities. Our favorite gross motor activity in this unit was picking lemons from a tree! To prepare for the activity, all I did was cut out three tree template pieces to make pretend “trees” and taped them to the wall. Then gently tape lemon cut outs at all heights so your child will have easy access to “pick” the lower lemons off the tree. I found it worked best to roll the tape up onto the lemon. Then, the lemons will gradually become harder to “pick off the tree.” My son especially loved the highest lemons where he had to stand on his tippy toes to reach! We did a few other gross motor activities in this unit, but this is the one my son asked to do every single day!
I hope you found some great ideas to use at home (or at school!) with your little ones! If you want to make teaching your toddler super simple (and sweet!) this week, then check out the Lemon Toddler School Unit for 5 complete and detailed lesson plans and all the printables you’ll need to make the week easy cheesy lemon squeezy! I hope you enjoy every minute of playing and learning with your little ones!
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my affiliate links, which helps to support The Primary Brain blog. As always, I only recommend products that I love and all ideas shared are my own.Written on January 4th, 2022 by Laurin Brainard